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2015: A year of opportunities PDF Print E-mail
[27 January 2015] The next 12 months present a unique array of opportunities and activities for Tibet supporters in the UK. The Dalai Lama is strongly rumoured to be appearing at Glastonbury in June, Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled for an official State Visit later this year, and there are plans for a Tibet awareness campaign in the run-up to the UK General Election.

1. Tibet Freedom March & Rally - Saturday 7 March
2. UK General Election
3. The Dalai Lama at Glastonbury Festival?
4. Chinese President to visit UK

Tibet Freedom March and Rally - Saturday 7 March
Tibet Freedom MarchThe 56th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising will be commemorated in London on Saturday 7 March 2015, with a march and rally. The march, through central London, will begin in Whitehall and finish with a rally outside the Chinese Embassy.

The date is confirmed. The exact times and starting location will be announced soon. It is expected the march will start in the late morning.

The march and rally are being organised by a coalition of UK-based Tibet groups including Tibet Society. Full details will be posted as soon as they are available.

UK General Election

House of Commons logoTibet Society is currently drawing up plans for a campaign to promote the Tibet issue in the run-up to the UK General Election on 7 May. In particular, parliamentary candidates will be asked to support the Tibet cause by standing up for the rights and freedoms of the Tibetan people.

Further details will be announced in the near future.

The Dalai Lama at Glastonbury Festival?
The Dalai LamaThere are strong rumours the Dalai Lama will be appearing at the Glastonbury Festival in June. Various media outlets reported the story in early January, after an announcement appeared on the Dalai Lama's official website. However, the notice was quickly removed and the festival's organisers have since refused to comment.

According to The Guardian, stated on the schedule for Sunday 28 June, His Holiness will give a talk at the Glastonbury Festival in the morning.

Tibet Society will post details of any Dalai Lama events in the UK as soon as they are confirmed. (Note: tickets for Glastonbury have already sold out.)

Further reading: The Guardian I The Independent

Chinese President to visit UK
Xi JinpingChinese President Xi Jinping is due to make his first state visit to the UK later this year. The exact date is not yet known, but the planned visit was confirmed by the Foreign Office.

Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire told the Foreign Affairs Committee that 2015 would be a "an extraordinarily important year" including "amongst other things... a state visit from President Xi later on in the year".

The State Visit will include a meeting with the Queen, a visit to Parliament and a meeting with the Prime Minister.

This will be the third official State Visit by a Chinese President, following Jiang Zemin in 1999 and Hu Jintao in 2005.

The Queen and Premier LiThe last visit to the UK by a high-ranking Chinese leader came in June 2014. The visit of Premier Li Keqiang (China's second highest political leader) became contentious when it was revealed the Chinese government had threatened to scrap the visit unless Premier Li was given an audience with the Queen. The audience was granted (pictured right) and the visit went ahead, with UK-China trade once again the central theme. Tibet Society ensured Tibet was not forgotten during the visit through lobbying, media work and a series of actions.

Cameron & XiIn December 2013, David Cameron met President Xi Jinping in Beijing (pictured right). The visit, which involved the signing of over 14 billion worth of trade deals, was said to have helped repair diplomatic relations between the two countries following the Chinese government's anger at Cameron meeting the Dalai Lama in May 2012.

Campaigns and lobbying actions around Xi Jinping's State Visit will be announced later in the year.

Further reading: BBC I The Telegraph

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